Decoding App Store Success: The Critical Role of A/B Testing in ASO

#aso #freeplay #marketing
June 25, 2023

Many individuals underestimate the significance of A/B testing when it comes to store listing elements, often opting to change visual elements without conducting hypothesis testing. While there may be certain situations where this approach is acceptable, it is generally not the most effective choice. Let’s explore why A/B testing is a superior option:

1. Time-saving

A/B testing saves you time by providing clear insights into the performance of different variants. Rather than relying on guesswork or assumptions, A/B testing allows you to make data-driven decisions efficiently. By testing multiple variants simultaneously, you can quickly identify the most effective option without wasting valuable time on trial and error.

2. Improved accuracy

When changing icons or screenshots, it is essential to consider other factors such as app positions, ratings, and competitor landscape. However, waiting for all these variables to align perfectly with a comparable period in the past is nearly impossible. A/B testing minimizes these inaccuracies by evaluating different variants concurrently, making the results more accurate and reliable.

3. Safety first

If you’re hesitant to take risks, A/B testing offers a safer approach. By exposing a smaller portion of your audience (e.g., 10-20%) to the test variant, you can mitigate the potential negative impact on conversion rates. If the test variant performs poorly, only a fraction of your traffic will experience the decrease, safeguarding the majority of your user base.

4. Reducing subjectivity

Relying solely on personal opinions and ideas can introduce subjectivity into decision-making processes. A/B testing helps minimize this by providing practical assessments of hypotheses. By continuously testing and analyzing results, you can stay up-to-date and make informed decisions based on real-world performance rather than relying solely on experience or assumptions.

One common temptation is to make graphics changes in production during holidays. Often, teams approach the ASO manager with suggestions to add festive elements like snowflakes, Santa’s hats, or ornaments, assuming that these small changes will attract users and create a festive mood. However, this assumption may not be true. Let’s consider an example from our game, Snake Run Race, where we conducted a test to evaluate the impact of such graphics changes.

In the test variant shown below, the only modification made was adding a festive hat. However, this seemingly harmless change can actually lead to a significant decrease in conversion rates.

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Retained first-time installers test, Google Play Console

This example clearly demonstrates the importance of A/B testing. Even small graphic alterations can have unforeseen consequences on user behavior and conversion rates. A/B testing allows us to make data-driven decisions and accurately assess the impact of different visual elements before implementing them in production.

In conclusion, rushing into graphical changes without testing can lead to unexpected outcomes, whereas A/B testing empowers us to make well-informed choices and achieve better results in our app’s performance.